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Cool, fruit-filled salsa a delicious option for a hot day

Recipe: White nectarines star in a fresh condiment -- or salad

Bowl of white and red salsa with blue chips on a yellow plate
This salsa features white nectarines but is equally good with yellow ones, or white or yellow peaches.
(Photos: Kathy Morrison)

It's a good thing there's so much fruit in season right now. The options to make something without turning on the oven or even the stovetop are much greater.

This salsa is one of my favorites for the hot summer months. The best stone fruit I've found to use it in is white nectarines, which are sweet but a little bland to me on their own. Put them together with some fresh peppers, herbs and red onion, however, and they brighten up considerably. (They also don't have to be peeled.) But use peaches (any color) or yellow nectarines if those are what look good to you at the market or store.

I like this salsa with blue chips, as shown in the photo, but it's spectacular as a condiment with barbecued chicken. Or pile it on some lettuce instead for a great salad.

Onion, cilantro, herbs, tomatoes and nectarines on a cutting board
Plenty of fresh summer produce in this salsa.
White Nectarine Salsa

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato (grape, cherry or regular size)

1/2 cup diced red onion or shallots

1 fresh  jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and diced small

1-1/2 tablespoon slivered fresh mint leaves

1-1/2 tablespoon slivered fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (or more lime juice)

2 firm-ripe nectarines, seeded and diced

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, stir together the diced tomato, onion, pepper, herbs and juices. Gently stir in the diced nectarine. Add some salt and pepper. Chill 1 hour to meld the flavors. Correct the seasonings before serving.

Note: This salsa tastes best the day it's made, but adding some more fresh lime juice can brighten up the leftovers.



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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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